On 02 August 2013, the United Nations Regional Centre for Peace, Disarmament, and Development in Latin America and the Caribbean (UNLIREC) officially handed over to the Government of Suriname a set of hydraulic shears, for the destruction of small arms and a Small Arms Ammunition Burning Tank (SAABT) for the destruction of small arms ammunition and explosives. Both of these pieces of equipment were provided to Suriname with a view to ensure permanent indigenous capacity for regular destruction of weapons and ammunition.

From 31 July to 02 August, 27 persons from the Security Assistance Department (BBS), Suriname Armed Forces (SAF), Police (KPS), Customs and Prisons (DZ) were trained in the maintenance and operation of the hydraulic shears, resulting in the destruction of more than 50 surplus and obsolete firearms, parts and components.

These specialized destruction tools complement the delivery of 40 padlocks and hasps also provided by UNLIREC to national authorities for enhancing the security of strategic stockpile facilities, thus contributing to preventing theft, loss and diversion of firearms and ammunition to illicit actors. Both sets of equipment will bolster Suriname’s ability to combat illicit trafficking in firearms and reduce and prevent armed violence.

UNLIREC will be returning to Suriname in September 2013 to conduct training on use of the SAABT and to support further destruction of surplus, obsolete and seized weapons, ammunition and explosives.

The donation of this equipment and technical assistance forms part of a wider UNLIREC programme for firearms destruction and stockpile management support to Caribbean States aimed at combating illicit trafficking by reducing the risk of theft and diversion from government holdings of firearms, ammunition and explosives. The activities carried out were made possible thanks to the financial support of the Government of the United States of America.

As the Regional Centre of the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs, UNLIREC serves 33 States in the region in assisting them in the development of disarmament policies and the implementation of international disarmament instruments, most notably the UN 2001 Programme of Action on Small Arms and Light Weapons.

For more information on UNLIREC visit (www.unlirec.org). Please direct all questions or inquiries to Amanda Cowl, Political Affairs Officer (cowl@unlirec.org).